With a population of over 12.6 million people, Moscow is considered the second densely populated city in Europe (after Istanbul). Living in a city like this becomes a real struggle both for its inhabitants and city planners. One of the most crucial aspects, which makes a city comfortable for living, is its transportation system. Even though Moscow metro is one of the longest in the world and has a daily ridership of around 7 million people, its capacity is still insufficient for the Russian capital. However, there is a new mean of public transport which develops really dynamically – bike-sharing.
Bike-sharing was introduced to the streets of Moscow in 2015. It is a special service provided by Velobike and Moscow Transport Department which allows the users to take a bicycle from one dock-station and return at another for a fee. Docks are special bike racks that lock the bike, and only release it by computer control. The user enters payment information, and the computer unlocks a bike. The user returns the bike by placing it in the dock, which locks it in place.
Since 2013 Velobike showed outstanding statistics: the number of bikes rose from 500 to 4300, the number of stations increased from 79 to 430, and the number of rides per a season – from 70,000 to 4.25 mln.
However, bikes still remain comparatively unpopular. For instance, car sharing in 2018 was used over 6 million times in 6 months of 2018. Even though bikes are cheaper, more environmentally friendly, and do not have traffic jams in Moscow, people tend to use cars more often.
Moreover, cycling infrastructure still leaves much to be desired. The improvement of customer experience by expanding the bike lane coverage would encourage locals and visitors to use the bike-sharing services more extensively.
Therefore, the analysis of Moscow bike-sharing could help to estimate the current trends in cycling in Moscow and develop the strategy for improving this service in the Russian capital.